Okay, I know you might be thinking: “How can he say that, he doesn’t know what I read, and at the beach, no less?” Given that many people like adventurous, park-your-mind-at-the-door books and movies during this season, The Devil Colony by James Rollins meets those qualities and more.
The Devil Colony is a modern day pulp novel where almost non-stop action scenes and a high-energy plot are the rule. As has been the case with a number of Rollin’s previous books, The Devil Colony continues the saga of Sigma Force, the top secret government law enforcement agency, with Sigma’s lead agents, Painter Crowe and Gray Pierce traveling all over the U.S. and to Iceland fighting the ruthless forces of the evil Guild.
Why have I called this the Perfect Long Beach beach read? Although the book might be called a “guilty pleasure” read by some, it has “redeeming” qualities that you’d be proud to talk about at a cocktail party. Besides the blood and guts, volcanic explosions and mummified bodies, a thread of little known American history runs through the entire novel. For example, did you know that our country’s founders negotiated with representatives of Native American (Indian) tribes to possibly form a 14th state for Native Americans only, or that the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1803 had an ulterior motive of spying on Indian tribes and not just the known one mentioned in the history books of exploring the northwest. These arcane facts and others are neatly woven into the constantly moving plot.
There’s also the science angle. The so-called “new” science of nanotechnology plays a major role in The Devil Colony. Nanotechnology, according to Wikipedia, is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Wikipedia continues: “Nanotechnology raises many of the same issues as any new technology, including concerns about the toxicity and environmental impact of nanomaterials.” Part of the book’s plot places a nano-gold like material that consumes everything in its path in an explosive atmosphere under the very hot springs and magma of Yellowstone National Park. Could it all lead to The End (and I don’t mean Montauk)?
So grab your suntan lotion, chaise lounge, umbrella, towel and a copy of The Devil Colony and spend your day not only soaking up the Long Beach sun, but also soaking up adventure and history (like in a History Channel special). Enjoy (and remember to turn, don’t burn)!
I’d rate this book 4 1/2 sand castles out of a possible five.